Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bean Ball

American Heritage looks at baseball's rough old days:

Early organized American baseball took two forms. New Englanders knew the game as “town ball” or the “Massachusetts game,” which featured base paths laid out in a square instead of a diamond, and a rule allowing fielder players to put out the batter or “striker” by “soaking” him (hitting him with a thrown ball before he reached base). Town ball flourished along the eastern seaboard. A group of young men in Philadelphia, who formed the Olympic Ball Club to play town ball in 1833, may have been the first organized baseball-related team in America. In 1838 the created and published rules aptly called their “constitution.”

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